Memorial Wall

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This Memorial Wall is our tributes to those who have died as a result of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, religious abuse, or other types of abuse. Some of these people we knew personally, others we only heard of. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it happens to real people, and costs lives. It's important to honor those we lost to abuse by telling their stories, so that the secret that killed them does not remain secret, and so that other lives might be saved, as a result of increased awareness.
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September 6th:
Steven Reis
died on September 6th, 2015

55yo Mr Reis from Kentucky, USA, was an Air Force veteran who suffered from PTSD, depression, and diabetes. He disappeared in January of 2015, and his caretaker continued using his credit/debit card to receive his benefits. Nine months later, on September 6th, 2015, Mr Reis' body was found in the basement of an abandoned house. Cause of death was undetermined because the body has decomposed, so the caretaker was sentenced to four years for fraud and ordered to pay back $32,822 in restitution.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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September 7th:
Gunner Page
died on September 7th, 2015

3 months old Gunner from Tennessee, USA, was visiting with his dad from Monday night till Wednesday morning, when his mom was supposed to pick him up. Gunner was crying, his dad tried to calm him down, then tried to get in touch with his mom, and then shook Gunner till he stopped breathing, called ambulance, and told the doctors he had no idea what might have happened to the baby. Gunner died of brain injury five days later."I just snapped. I wish I could take it back. I try to be the best dad I can for the kids," the father said.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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September 8th:
Robert Watkins
died on September 8th, 2013

2yo Robert from Maryland, USA, was living with his mom's step father (whom he called "Pappy"), along with four other children raging in age from 5 months to 15 years. On September 8th Robert didn't eat his dinner, and Pappy lost it, kicking the 2yo into kitchen cabinets to the point of multiple skull fractures and multiple cuts and bruises.

Posted by Manya on July 8th, 2016
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Daniel Valerio
died on September 8th, 1990

Two-year-old Daniel and his four-year-old brother Ben used to live with their mom and stepdad. Stepdad used to beat them up for crying; Daniel died from the beatings. The photo on the left shows him with a black eye. It was taken a few days before his death. Twenty one doctor saw Daniel with bruises and other marks, and not one of them contacted law enforcement. Daniel's death resulted in public outrage and the Australian laws regarding child abuse have been changed as a result. Now reporting suspected child abuse is mandatory for those who work with children: doctors, teachers, social workers, etc.

Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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September 9th:
Willow Long
died on September 9th, 2013

7yo Willow from Illinois, USA, lived with her mom, 3yo brother, grandma and grandpa, and a 22yo uncle. One day her grandparents were away at work, mom was at a bar, and the uncle was babysitting Willow and her brother. Two days later her body was found with a slashed throat, five stabs to the heart, and defensive wounds on her hands. The uncle said that Willow impaled herself on a stick so he killed her to put her out of her misery.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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Coral Ellen Burrows
died on September 9th, 2003

Coral was a 6yo girl from New Zealand whose stepdad used meth. He's been smoking it for five days straight, not sleeping and barely eating, when on September 9th he fed Coral Ellen and her 8yo brother breakfast, got them ready for school, and drove them there. It was raining, and while the man and the boy ran from the car to the school, Coral refused to and got cheeky. That's when he "lost the plot", according to him. He returned to the car and beat her unconscious, right there in the school parking lot; broke her jaw, and she bled a lot. He then drove around looking for a place to hide her body, and when he discovered she was still alive he broke her skull. "I didn't want her to suffer," he told police.

Coral's family released a public statement saying "Our plea to all New Zealander is to treasure your children and help keep safe."

Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Alexander, Juan and Luis Fuentes
died on September 9th, 2015

Three brothers - Alexander, eight, Juan, nine, and Luis, 10 - were allegedly stabbed to death by their father who then tried to kill himself At a vigil for the children on Wednesday evening, grieving family members placed pictures, candles and toys at the site where their bodies had been found earlier that day. Their cousin Rene Chanquin told KTLA: ‘What can prepare you for three little kids that you spent every Christmas with, being killed that way.’‘We will miss them so very much and it hurts us to know that they will never live to see another Christmas or celebrate another birthday.’

Posted by Jane on July 1st, 2018
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September 10th:
Meredith Emily Hight
died on September 10th, 2017

27yo Meredith was "the most beautiful, fierce, wicked smart, talented, witty, loving soul," according to her friends. She graduated from the University of Texas with Bachelor's in Applied Mathematics, worked from home for Coca-Cola Industries, and loved Rennesaince Festivals and 311 music band. Meredith was married for six years to a guy she met in college. Three years into the marriage they bought a house, but then he was laid off from his job and started drinking and getting violent with her. In April of 2017 he moved out, and in July Meredith filed for divorce. On September 10th Meredith was hosting a cookout and football watching party, the first one since the breakup. Eight family friends attended it, while her ex husband was getting drunk at a local pub. He then came to the house with a gun and shot Meredith and all of their friends but one. He was shot and killed by the police at the scene.

Posted by Jane on July 1st, 2018
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Lamar Hawkins III
died on September 10th, 2014

14yo Lamar from Brooklyn, NY, had a loving family: mom, dad, brothers, and sisters. He had medical problems at birth, and doctors said he only had a 20% chance of surviving infancy. "He fought through everything - everything - and he made it," his father said. However, he was small in statue, and that made him an easier target for bullies at school. The family moved to Florida, to help their son by changing the environment - but the bullying continued, and on September 10th Lamar shot himself in the bathroom on campus.

Posted by Manya on March 23rd, 2017
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September 11th:
Amanda Ross
died on September 11th, 2009

29yo Amanda from Kentucky, USA, was a warm and vivacious woman, according to her friends; she liked animals, soccer, Ernest Hemingway, and keeping up with her highschool friends. "She was cheerful and peppy and lots of fun, a very integral part of that class," her school headmaster said. After Amanda graduated from Boston university with a degree in business administration and finance, she went to work for her father's company. State Rep. Bob Damron, who works for that firm, said Amanda "had a good mathematical mind and a good business mind." She was also elected to the board of the local Humane Society, and was excited to start her term in December.

Amanda was dating a former Kentucky state legislator who championed laws protecting the victims domestic violence. Unfortunately, he was violent towards Amanda, to the point that she received an order of protection against him in February of 2009. He continued stalking her for months, and finally on September 11th he shot her in a parking lot as she was leaving work.

Amanda's mother advocates for a legislation called Amanda's law, that would require perpetrators of domestic violence to wear GPS tracking devices while there's an order of protection against them, that would notify the police and the victim if they are somewhere they shouldn't be. She said, "It will definitely save lives if you know that person. You have a fighting chance if you know that person is in your area - you can at least do something to protect yourself. Amanda, she would have never walked out the door that morning. She would have known that he was out there because she also could have worn a bracelet that would have warned her, rather than a phone call. She would have been warned that he was out there in her area."

Posted by Manya on July 18th, 2016
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Jacob Grabe
died on September 11th, 2008

13yo Jacob from Colorado, USA, loved his two dogs, Holly and Cinnamon, and his cat, Buttercup, and was learning to ride horses. He was top seller for the school fund-raisers, played the French horn in band, and was just elected equipment manager. He was also in track, learning to master the triple jump. Jacob attended church, and used to help his mom with her Avon deliveries and his dad with his window washing business.

Jacob had Asperger's and died because his dad shot him nine times in the head. "I had to kill him because you were ruining him," the man explained to his wife. "I believe that his intent was to save his son from irreparable harm, saving him by sending him home to Jesus," his psychiatrist testified at trial. The jury rejected insanity plea and the man was sentenced to life without parole.

Posted by Manya on September 13th, 2017
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Shafilea Ahmed
died on September 11th, 2003

Shafi was a 17yo Pakistani girl from UK, who was murdered by her parents for refusing an arranged marriage. She lived in Yorkshire, went to school, wanted to be a lawyer, and wrote poetry.

Shortly before her disappearance Shafi and her parents had traveled to Pakistan where she rejected an arranged marriage partner and had swallowed bleach, badly scarring her throat. Her parents felt that she brought shame on their family, murdered her, dismembered the body, and dumped it in a river.

Here's a quote from Shafi's poem "I'm trapped" that she wrote before she was killed:

Desire to live is burning
My stomach is turning
But all they think about is honour
I was like a normal teenage kid
Didn't ask 2 much
I jus wanted to fit in
But my culture was different

Posted by Manya on October 16th, 2012
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Jimmy Ryce
died on September 11th, 1995

According to his parents, 9yo Jimmy from Florida, USA, "had an IQ of over 130. Loved to read. Hated stories with sad endings. Cried when he saw Les Miserable. Wanted be a major league baseball player when he grew up or if he couldn't do that he wanted to find a cure for a disease". One day Jimmy got off his school bus and was walking home, four houses down on the same side of the street. The man pulled a truck in front of Jimmy, blocking his way, pointed a gun at him, grabbed him by the shirt, and pulled him into the truck. He then took Jimmy to his trailer and raped and tortured him for four hours. Jimmy heard helicopters and ran to the door, hoping to escape, when the man shot him in the back. He then decapitated and dismembered Jimmy's body and hid it in cement in three plastic planters near his trailer.

The man was sentenced to death and executed. Jimmy's parents created the Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abduction to raise awareness about the plight of missing children, victims' rights and violence.

Posted by Manya on August 27th, 2016
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September 12th:
Shay Martinez
died on September 12th, 2017

29yo Mrs Martinez from Oregon, USA, worked as a package handler for FedEx and had an abusive boyfriend. When her mom asked her about bruises, she said it was from work, but to her friends she admitted it was from her abusive relationship. On September 10th, 2017, they had a fight. Neighbors heard the argument, Mrs Martinez crying, and then silence. The boyfriend claims that he threw her across the room, she hit her head against the floor, and immediately started snoring and bleeding from her nose. He put her to bed and didn't check on her till 3PM, when she was unresponsive but still had a pulse. He finally decided to take her to a hospital around 10PM, seventeen hours after the assault. Mrs Martinez died from traumatic brain injury two days later.

Posted by Manya on July 28th, 2018
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Kashmire Nazier Redd
died on September 12th, 2017

Kashmire Nazier Redd, a 28-year-old transgender man who was fatally stabbed by his partner during an argument inside their shared apartment in Gates, New York. Redd left the building, and collapsed on the front lawn before police responded to the incident. Redd died soon after being taken to hospital. "This tragedy is the latest reminder that the transgender community is disproportionately represented in domestic violence cases across the country, and more must be done to support those experiencing intimate partner violence. Jamie Saunders, CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, noted that transgender people face "additional unique barriers in seeking safety and support from domestic violence".

Posted by Jane on July 4th, 2018
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September 13th:
Andres Bravo Garcia
died on September 13th, 2014

5-month-old Andres from Florida, USA, lived with him mom, an older brother, and mom's boyfriend. One day mom was at work and Andres was home alone with her boyfriend. The boyfriend said Andres fell off his bed - which somehow resulted in brain injuries, lung contusion, retinal hemorrhaging to both eyes, and bruising to his buttocks. The boyfriend was arrested. Andres was taken off life support five days later.

Posted by Manya on September 13th, 2017
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September 14th:
Jack Taylor
died on September 14th, 2015

25yo Jack Taylor from London, UK, worked as a forklift truck driver and lived with his parents and two sisters. Jack was raped and killed by a serial killer who had a fetish of having sex with unconscious young men. He met his victims through gay dating sites, lured them to his flat, spiked their drinks with GHB (date rape drug), and four of them, including Jack, died of overdose. The man was convicted of 22 crimes total, and sentenced to life in prison.

Posted by Manya on July 29th, 2018
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Jessica Arrendale
died on September 14th, 2014

Jessica (33yo, Georgia, USA) was dating Antoine Davis, who used to be abusive, especially when drunk. They had a daughter together, 6 months old Cobie (on the photo). On Saturday, September 13th, Jessica and Antoine went out, have been drinking, and later on at home Antoine became violent. Jessica tried to fight him off with a baseball bat, but he was a former US Marine and overpowered her. He beat her with the bat (while she had Cobie in her arms) and chased her upstairs, where she locked herself in the bathroom, still with the baby. He got a rifle, broke the door, shot Jessica in the head, and then went to the bedroom and shot himself as well. As Jessica was falling down, she turned around somehow and dropped the baby into the toilet bowl, covering it with her body as she fell, thus saving Cobie's life.

Posted by Manya on November 11th, 2015
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September 16th:
Ryanna Grywacheski
died on September 16th, 2017

18-year-old Ryanna Grywacheski, originally from Saskatchewan, was found dead in what has been ruled by police as a murder-suicide. According to RCMP, she was murdered by 37-year-old Jeff Kilfoy of Marystown, with whom she was in a relationship. According to a statement issued to the Southern Gazette on behalf of the family by Ryanna’s aunt, Cornelia Behr, “there are not enough words to describe Ryanna. “She was) beautiful, loving and caring. A sweet young woman, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin.” “She honestly had a heart of gold. She will be greatly missed by us all.”

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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